September 5, 2014
Brain Injury and Social Security Disability Benefits
Practicing Social Security disability law in Indiana has brought me into contact with a variety of disabling conditions and brain injuries are no exception. This type of disability may result in the inability to work due to physical and/or mental impairments. Your inability to sustain a forty (40) hour work week can result in qualifying for disability payments.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does recognize neurological impairments in its Listing of Impairments. While Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) do not a have a listing it is given mention in this listing. A specific listing of 11.18 Cerebral Trauma may be of interest when examining brain injury. It is important to note the listings under 11.00 may also be of interest considering the facts of each case.
Do all brain injuries meet or equal one of the listings the SSA recognizes? No, and that does not necessarily mean you will not be found disabled. The SSA also recognizes the fact that your residual functional capacity may be at a level that you cannot perform substantial gainful activity. This means that you are physically or mentally unable to perform work like activity on a full time basis. Many of my clients with TBI’s have difficulty staying on task, fatigue, and memory issues that simply make it impossible for them to engage in a competitive work atmosphere.
With any Social Security disability case medical records are usually the key to a successful outcome. MRI’s of the brain and other objective testing can greatly enhance the chance of a favorable outcome with the SSA. In my experience, statements from treating physicians especially those who specialize in a certain field as in neurology in these claims can be very beneficial.
At my law office I represent individuals with many disabling conditions including but not limited to cancer, depression, stroke, bipolar disorder, arthritis, and back problems. If you find yourself unable to work due to a disabling condition it might be in your best interest to apply for Social Security disability to help alleviate financial problems you may be experiencing due to your inability to work.